Photo Credit: Fotokia/Photolibrary/Getty Images
When someone asks what you do for a living, you:
a Take pride in telling them and enjoy answering questions about it
b Give them a cursory response and quickly try to shift the topic of conversation
c Feel embarrassed and avoid/ignore the question altogether
Have you given serious consideration to a different career in the past year?
a No. I love my job
b I sometimes idly fantasize about other careers
c Yes, I frequently think about re-training and starting something new and more fulfilling
Have you acquired any new skills in the past twelve months of your working life?
a Yes, I learn something new every day
b I suppose I’ve learned a couple of new things this year
c No. I learned a lot when I first started but these days it’s just the same thing, day in and day out
Which of these best describes your relationship with your work colleagues?
a I get along with everyone really well and often socialize outside of work
b I’m close to a select few. We spend most of our time together moaning about the boss
c I’m not here to make new friends but get along okay with my fellow employees
How do you feel at the start of each work week?
a Energized, excited and enthusiastic about starting
b Sad the weekend’s over, but eager to catch up with colleagues
c Filled with the kind of dread I used to feel before school when I hadn’t done my homework
Do you think you are fairly paid for the job you do compared to others in a similar position?
a Yes, my salary is more than enough to keep me going
b I've heard of others being paid more but am earning enough to live on comfortably
c My salary is an insult to my industry!
Are you interested in a promotion?
a Not yet, but definitely in a few years when I’ve learned everything I can from this role
b Yes, it’s time for a step up
c The money would be nice, but I’m already bored by the thought of the extra workload
Which of the following statements about your workload applies to you?
a I have enough work to keep me busy all day
b I have too much work
c I don’t have enough work to do
Do you feel appreciated by your employer?
a Yes, the company treats me well and looks after my interests
b My boss should acknowledge my achievements and praise me more frequently
c I feel de-motivated and undervalued at work
Have you felt challenged by your role in the past twelve months?
How much of the work day do you spend procrastinating, clock-watching and surfing the internet instead of getting down to work?
a None. I’m always surprised at how fast the day goes by
b Not much. The last hour of the day always drags a little, though
c I spend most of the day avoiding work
How interested are you in your job and the company as a whole?
a Very. I’m passionate about the industry I work in
b Interested enough to secure my annual bonus
c Not at all. I'm just here for the regular paycheck
Happy in your job (mostly a)
Lucky you! You've managed to find a career you enjoy, feel passionate about and are rewarded by. A career change at this stage would be crazy, but don’t be complacent. Prevent boredom setting in by using every opportunity to learn as much as you can about your field of work. Acquire new skills, attend seminars and courses and read up on industry trends and strategies. Not only will you harness new skills and tap in to new knowledge but you’ll be favorably poised for promotion when the opportunity presents itself.
Too soon to move (mostly b)
To say you're stimulated by your job would be an overstatement, but you enjoy what you do which is more than many can say. However, if you continue to just coast along you’ll be in danger of becoming bored and jaded. So, this year take some time to think about what makes you tick in the workplace. What do you enjoy about your job? Can you think of any other careers where you might get a similar sense of satisfaction? It’s always worth researching alternative employment opportunities and considering if they’re right for you. Set aside some time to brush up your resume, making sure you highlight your strengths and achievements and translatable skills. Be prepared to make the next move.
Time for a change (mostly c)
If all your job means to you is a steady paycheck then it's definitely time to start looking at other options. Sticking with a job that neither stimulates nor interests you will have detrimental psychological effects on you and those close to you. However, switching careers is no easy matter – particularly in the current climate. So don’t hand in your notice before you’ve thought about how you’re going to make things work. Is it worth approaching your employer about going part-time in order to re-train? Could you do some volunteer work on weekends within the field you want to work in? Only you can make these big and scary decisions, but a more satisfying career is highly achievable with the right research and a well thought-out plan of action. Good luck!
Ready to take your career to the next level? Join our Take Charge of Your Career Community Challenge! You’ll get daily emails with expert tips and tools from TheLadders’ Amanda Augustine to give your career a boost in just 4 weeks. Sign up now!